Florida Passes Law to Regulate Children’s Use of Social Media; Controversial Measure Aims to Protect Adolescents’ Mental Health, But Critics Say it Invades Privacy

Children under 14 are not allowed to use social media in Florida

Florida has recently passed a new law, known as HB 3, aimed at regulating young people’s use of social media. This law prohibits children under the age of 14 from having social media accounts and requires parental consent for users aged 14 to 16. Governor Ron DeSantis signed this decision, making it one of the most stringent regulations in the United States concerning minors’ use of social media.

The law aims to address growing concerns about the mental health impacts of social media on adolescents. However, it will not take effect until January 1 of next year. In addition to regulating young people’s access to social media, the legislation also mandates age verification for accessing pornographic websites, demonstrating a broader focus on safeguarding minors online.

Despite being signed into law, HB 3 has received criticism from some who view it as an invasion of privacy for all Floridians, not just youth. Industry groups like NetChoice have raised concerns about the challenges of verifying users’ identities to enforce the law and the potential risks to privacy and data security. However, proponents argue that this is a necessary step towards protecting young people’s online experiences and addressing the potential harms associated with social media and digital content.

As the law prepares to take effect, it will be important to monitor its impact on young people’s access to social media and adult content online, as well as the broader implications for privacy and data protection. Overall, this new regulation represents a significant step towards safeguarding minors in the digital age.

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